OK, a snowy day in the suburbs of Chi town, and I have pen to paper drawing some dreams...redesigning dashboard for future installation of some glass, ie 12 or 16" Garmin surrounded by analog gauges for true redundancy (plus it'll look bad ass!)
Working on plans for Radar Arch that is function and form, I was thinking fiberglass, but after futher revue and much due dilegence, I think when the time comes Im gonna give Carbon Fiber a whirl, looks like a piece a cake....a very large hard to make cake, but cake non the less! along with plans for teak decking,redesign galley area, what kind of fabric for upholstery,weight loss and pricing of coosa board instead of ply-wood for all decking and stringer/bulkhead redo's etc etc.
The proper make and model of the boat is ..Classic-Invader-25 TC edition, TC standing for Teak Cockpit, of which is now missing the Teak Floor....the hole floor..no not a hole in the floor, the Hole Floor! per my NBR post Ill save that for the Background story of the boats history, I will say now that this boat was purchased the spring of '78 by my Dad, directly from Jim Calkins the owner of Calkins Trailer company, who had special ordered and purchased the boat directly from Jeff Smith the owner of Classic mnfctr and Smith Marine, to display on his largest trailer at the time in Chicago Boat Show in '77-'78, We had until then a 18ft Cruisers Inc, I dont recall the exact year, but I know it was one of the first Lap strake fiberglass models from Cruisers Inc ( a great hull)with a 75 Johnson. Upon the sale of our home, my Dad set me on a quest to and I do quote "Kid, find us a bigger boat" after much searching on the ...I mean in the! papers,feverishly searching for what was the Go Too boat in the 70's..the amazing, all powerful and wonderful 'Sea Ray' (my Dad didnt like them because everyone else did...I SWEAR!) and after several trips checking out Dancers and Weekenders, I found this boat in the Chicago Tribune classifieds, prior to that I had only seen the Classic 19ft (one) at the lake where my mom ran our concession/ham/hot dog place at a private lake 45 min west of Chicago, I knew without seeing this particular boat that Classic Inc was a boat worthy of being mentioned when speaking about Sea Ray and Cobalt, but I had no clue that they made a 25, let alone a particular model the TC, that was actually classified as a Sportfish! My Dad was uncharacteristically interested in seeing this one, so I called Jim and set up a test run on the Chain O Lakes in Illinois (an intertwined group of mud puddles..literally) as they say wherever they say it "the rest is history"
My Dad and Mom fell in love with the boat at first sight.... me...I couldnt frickin believe it! Calkins himself said at the time it was between the Sea Ray and this boat to go to the show on his trailer and the Sea Ray 'looked like a beached whale compared to the Classic, that being said my dad turned, and gave me the look that said without saying"see what I mean you Idiot" keeping in mind that back in the late 70's, to me or any other kid that grew up ON the water, if you could afford a great boat You Bought a Sea Ray or a Cobalt..PERIOD, but this boat was a Mind Changer!! Jeff Smith finally (from what I know of the man) did something spot on, he Knocked it out of the park with a Hull that had the cut of a Slick-Craft it seemingly laughed at Lake Winnebago when God Sneezed. Being a WWII Navy Guy ( Battleship Texas AA Gunner on number II turret) my dad knew his limits and had the utmost respect for the water...this boat gave us the piece of mind without being fool hearted, to stay out a little while longer than the other guy, especially when YOUR CATCHING FISH!
The test cruise that day in '78 was going great right up till the time the wheel zinged clockwise uncontrollably,(with me at the helm-as usual) like a wheel being spun to see if your lunch is free or not..the damn thing heeled over, sent shit flying everywhere, drinks, my dad etc, at least Jims wife and my Mom where seated in the booth below. have you ever tried steering a 25 boat using the swim platform as a fulcrum with a wooden mop handle? then 3/4 of a wooden mop handle then 1/2 a wooden mop handle..I think you get the picture, and with regards to it swaying my Dads opinion of the boat, when he shouted out "WHAT THE %UCK DID YOU DO! I knew everything was fine! LMAO (now) that being said, that was honestly the only thing that ever went drastically wrong since then, and that was on hour meter 17. We did find out that day, power steering was the option that was seemingly overlooked, but hey..it has TILT WHEEL!
(Pic from Prom weekend '80) Ill tell more as the project gets going and continues, my goal, governed not by skill but primarily allowable finances, will be to have it in the water sometime in 2020, being healthier than I have been in years I really look forward to getting my hands dirty on this one begining with an entire strip job of the cockpit and working from stringers up! It always got attention at the dock, after Im done I want it to SCREAM.....CLASSIC! and its gonna Scream mph
Yeah he would Jim, good to hear from you...alot of BS, John H helped to solve the issue with the boat regarding a couple of the locals, water under the bridge. Boats in Illinois for the first time since the early 80's, she'll be lookin better than new after Im done, Im just happy to be alive, I was actually online right now looking at a Merc 496 to throw in it along with a Bravo drive, the small block still runs but the torque and HP of a big block EFI will be better all the way around, itll be in better than new in many ways. I already have the new teak for the floor. and will be using coosa board for underneath
you might remember my Uncle Jerry, (the gold elbow, and top)....they did alot of fishing together, among other things..Jerry couldnt keep up with my dad in the brown bottle arm wrestling